The MICHELIN Guide Nordic Countries 2021 was launched on Monday 13th September, at a Star Revelation event in Stavanger, Norway. It was hosted by the International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, Gwendal Poullennec.
The Guide covers the countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This year, for the first time, the Guide has been published in a digital format only. Listings can be found on the MICHELIN Guide website and on the free MICHELIN Guide iOS and Android apps.
During the event, special awards were presented for:
• Welcome and Service
• Young Chef
• Chef Mentor
The MICHELIN Nordic Countries Welcome and Service Award 2021 was presented by the Mayor of Stavanger, Kari Nessa Nordtun. The award went to the team at Finnjävel Salonki in Helsinki, Finland, whose relaxed, charming service really make this restaurant stand out.
Director Otto Otniel Sovelius said:
“We don’t have customers; we have guests and that’s where we start building a relationship with all the guests arriving here.
In English it’s mostly called ‘service’ but what I really love is the German word ‘gastfreundlichkeit’ meaning ‘a friendly attitude towards the guest’. And that’s the principle of how we do things: instead of ‘serving’, we are helpful, kind and respectful towards the guest.”
Finnjävel Salonki was also awarded One MICHELIN Star in the MICHELIN Guide Nordic Countries 2021 for its impressive modern Finnish cooking.
This intimate restaurant has just ten tables and is sited within the Kunsthalle art gallery, next to its sister restaurant, the larger Sali brasserie.
The Michelin inspectors found that from the moment you are greeted at the door to the moment you leave the restaurant, you are well looked after by a team who clearly know what they are doing. True professionals, they provide service which is smooth and organised; chatty yet relaxed.
Guests are welcomed and seated with minimum fuss and the charming staff give slick, knowledgeable explanations about the menu and the wine offerings. Service is well-choreographed and comes with a sense of humour.
When the food arrives at the table, the dishes are fully explained to guests, and many of the dishes are delivered by the chefs themselves.
The set menu features modern interpretations of traditional Finnish dishes, with first class local ingredients used in detailed, technically skilled combinations. To accompany your meal, there is a choice of two wine pairings which are well worth going for.
The Michelin inspectors felt that Finnjävel Salonki is a restaurant at which everything has been given such a lot of thought. With its well-spaced, spot-lit tables and blood-orange walls, it is elegant yet relaxing. It also highlights the best in Finnish design, with everything – from the hand-forged cutlery to the impressive hand-blown decanters – made by Finnish craftspeople.